In an ever-disrupted environment and in rapidly innovating industries, nonprofits are challenged to be more proactive and to accelerate adaptation. This accelerating pace of technology innovation is transforming how these organizations deliver mission services to people facing challenges to employment.
For the individuals Goodwill® serves, the proliferation of virtual platforms and devices are resulting in more ways to learn, connect and communicate – both within the workplace and on-the-go. Here are three applications of technology we’re watching as we strive to reach more and serve more.
Videos as Tools for Learning
In his talk, “Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education,” Khan Academy founder Salman Khan extols the benefits of video-based learning. This type of learning, he argues, allows individuals to learn at their own pace, which can include pausing, repeating and fast-forwarding content – actions not possible with face-to-face learning.
While Khan’s work has its footing in K-12 education, he also recognizes the applicability for adult learners. “Imagine what it does to the adult learner, who’s embarrassed to go back and learn stuff they should have known before going back to college,” he says. “Now they can spend two hours a day and remediate, or get up to speed and not feel embarrassed about what they do or don’t know.”
Many Goodwill organizations have started to integrate video learning into their career services and training programs, offering “blended” experiences that allow individuals to learn in the classroom and on their own time.
Equal Access Through Assistive Technology
From computer software and hardware to tablet and phone apps, assistive technology is revolutionizing how individuals with disabilities learn and participate in the workforce. The Assistive Technology Center has assembled a collection of YouTube videos that demonstrate how individuals with various disabilities leverage these tools to participate in society and achieve their full potential.
The job accommodations video playlist shares the personal stories of individuals who use assistive technology in the workforce, and is a valuable resource for workers with disabilities as well as employers committed to office and workplace accommodations.
To learn about what one Goodwill is doing in the field, check out Goodwill of Orange County’s Assistive Technology Exchange Center.
Gaming for Good
Gamification – the application of game elements to non-game contexts – is rapidly changing how organizations approach helping people build the skills they need to find a job and advance in their careers. In the video above, Scott Nicholson, professor and director of the game design and development program at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario Canada, discusses meaningful gamification and how it can be used to motivate and inspire people to action.
Here at Goodwill, we’ve integrated gamification into our virtual career navigation website, GoodProspects® via the use of digital badges. Twenty-seven badges can be earned for a variety activities on the site, such as requesting a mentor, networking with others, and passing skill-based quizzes.
How else do you see technology changing the education and workforce today? Share your ideas and examples in the comments section below.